I booked myself a lovely apartment at the Duomo Guest House, right in the middle of the Historical Center of Piacenza. The apartment was spacious, clean, and quiet, except for hearing neighbors yelling in the building next door (mostly in the early evening hours). It was also perfectly located, right off of the main shopping street, Via XX Settembre.Because I was so close to it, I decided to check out Piazza Duomo. Looking at the map which I had been given, I thought that this would be a good place to begin orientating myself with this city. The Duomo of Piacenza, or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Giustina, was built between 1122 and 1233. At the time of my visit, there was a special exhibit in the Duomo, focusing on the frescoes in the dome painted by the artist Guercino. This was an amazing experience, as one was able to climb to the base of the dome, and see the frescoes close-up, after which you were able to explore the rest of the beautiful church. Smack in the center of the piazza is a monument to the Virgin, which dates back to 1862.If you walk straight down Via XX Settembre, you will find yourself in Piacenza’s Piazza Cavalli – the city’s main piazza. Everyone passes through here at one point of the day. It was named this because of two Equestrian statues that adorn it – one of Ranuccio Farnese, and the other of Alessandro Farnese. These were made by the artist Francesco Mochi.Palazzo Costa, on nearby Via Roma, is the home of the Fondazione Horak, and the Museo Ambientale. Unfortunately, it was closed to visitors while I was in town. Another wonderful building is Palazzo Anguissola da Grazzano, which houses a sculpture museum. I didn’t know it at the time, and so did not even attempt to visit it. But, I was enthralled with the building. Piacenza is full of beautiful Palazzos — each with a lovely courtyard, and gates that are simply breathtaking. I couldn’t resist trying to look into as many as I could, as I made my way along the streets of the city.
Next up: more from Piacenza, including Palazzo Farnese, and a visit to the Civic Museums!
Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.